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Sector: Category: Portfolio Progress

Innovations portfolio company Circassia, a specialty biopharmaceutical company focused on allergy, has appointed Dr Jean Jacques Garaud MD to its Board of Directors. Dr Garaud was formerly the Global Head of Pharma Research and Early Development at F Hoffmann La Roche, and has extensive pharmaceutical development experience gained across the US and Europe.

Sir Richard Sykes, Circassia's Chairman, commented:

"It is a great pleasure to welcome Dr Garaud to Circassia at this exciting time of transformation for the company. Circassia has achieved world-class clinical results with its potentially revolutionary ToleroMune allergy technology, and recently started phase III testing with its lead treatment. Dr Garaud's international R&D and regulatory experience will prove invaluable as the company completes the development of its cat allergy treatment and begins the process of commercialising its first product."

Dr Garaud has over 25 years' experience of pharmaceutical research and development, having worked in both the US and Europe. He built his early career at Rhone-Poulenc-Rorer and Schering Plough, where he became Executive Vice President of Worldwide Clinical Research, before moving to Novartis where he went on to become Global Head of Clinical Research and Development. At F Hoffman La Roche, he became Global Head of Pharmaceutical Development and Chief Medical Officer, and most recently led Roche Pharma Research and Early Development.

About Circassia’s ToleroMune® allergy technology
Circassia is developing a range of allergy treatments based on its novel, proprietary ToleroMune® technology. This uses rationally-designed synthetic allergen peptides to generate regulatory T cells to control allergic responses and induce immune tolerance. Circassia has successfully completed a number of phase II studies with its cat, house dust mite, ragweed and grass allergy therapies, and the company’s lead product recently entered phase III testing. Clinical results show that short, simple courses of ToleroMune® allergy treatments can greatly reduce patients’ allergic responses, while proving extremely well tolerated. In a follow-up clinical study*, patients’ symptoms were significantly improved compared with placebo one year after the start of a four dose treatment given over just 12 weeks. As a result, ToleroMune® treatments offer major potential clinical benefits compared with existing therapies, and have significant market opportunities. More than 150 million people suffer from allergic rhinitis in the US and Europe, and the current treatment market is valued at approximately $12 billion per year.

About Circassia
Circassia was founded by a team of highly experienced biotechnology scientists and entrepreneurs, and is chaired by the former Chairman of GlaxoSmithKline, Sir Richard Sykes. The company is based in the UK on the Oxford Science Park, and its joint venture with McMaster University (Adiga Life Sciences Inc) is located in Hamilton, Canada. Circassia’s ToleroMune® technology was developed originally by scientists at Imperial College, London. Having successfully completed five fundraising rounds, Circassia has raised approximately £105 million ($178 million) and is backed by a syndicate of world-class institutional investors, including Imperial Innovations and Invesco Perpetual.

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